The time has finally come to return the Ninja 1000 to Kawasaki. It’s been a thrilling 3 months of riding and exploring the area around my house on what has proven to be an exciting motorcycle. I find it hard to believe that it’s already been 90 days. Time flies when you’re having fun. My only regret is that I didn’t have more fun. Life has a way of sneaking up and stealing time away.
Thinking back to my first ride out of the dealership on the Ninja 1000 and how different it was from my Harley makes me laugh a little. I’ve become very accustom to this bike and my Concours in a relatively short time. I can’t believe that I spent so much time shying away from sport and sport touring bikes thinking they would be uncomfortable or to much power to manage. The Ninja cured me of that by the time I got home on that first ride and convinced me that sport (touring) bikes are going to be a permanent part of my riding stable.
Living in Virginia in the shadow of the Blue Ridge mountains also gave me a unique opportunity to ride some of the best roads in the country. On these curvy and winding roads the Ninja was in it’s element. I also didn’t have to ride very far to get to those roads which helped. While I originally was unimpressed with the seat, and to some extent the riding position, as the bike and I got to know each other better I was able to put more time in the saddle with less frequent rest stops. This allowed me to enjoy the handling and performance of the Ninja more. Once we hit a groove, all the little niggles I’ve mentioned melted away.
My conclusions about the bike are a little mixed. Where I about ten years younger I would jump at the chance to own this bike. However, being a little older and moving into a different phase of riding, it just does not have the comfort and amenities that I’m currently looking for. As a second ride in my stable this would be a really fun day trip, around town bike. It does what it was built for well and I truly hope that it get’s the recognition that it deserves.